HDC International has a wealth of experience in developing heritage tourism strategies, tourism policies and tourism plans for a wide variety of tourist destinations and business structures around the world.
Our approach to tourism destination strategy development
The strategic debate is forever changing and the leading experts in the field of tourism strategy are constantly evolving the concepts for dealing with planning processes and the development of tourism strategy.
In the past it was a common practice for tourism destinations to develop a 5, 10 or even 15-year tourism strategy which was followed and adhered to verbatim. This often proved detrimental if not destructive. Tourism destination strategies are not documents that are published once and then spend the rest of their existence gathering dust on a shelf! Tourism destination strategies should be a living, evolving document that takes a tourism destination on a journey of development.
The strategic journey
Like many journeys, traveling from A to B is not always a straight line. Business climate, world affairs, exchange rates, availability of resources, unexpected events and opportunities and so on force the tourism destination to travel a constantly meandering and readjusting path which means that to successfully reach the goal the destination will need to adopt a flexible adaptable "emergent" approach.
HDC international's approach to developing tourism destination strategies is to keep things simple. In our experience it is the long-term goal or vision that is important, not necessarily the specific strategic route that takes you there.
Tourism destination strategies should be “emergent”, flexible and focus on clear objectives. The strategic process is much like a car journey between A and B. The journey itself represents the overall tourism strategic horizon. Point “A” is where we are now or more specifically the analysis of where we are now. Point “B” is the long term goal or vision.
The "how do we get there?" is the vehicle or the process which will take the tourism destination from A to B. In the car on the dashboard are instruments, that assist the tourism destination to monitor the speed in which it is going, the pace at which it is traveling at and the resources the organisation has available to it at any one time. The road on which the car is traveling represents the competencies, remit, scope, aims, values and ethos of the tourism destination. Along the road are regularly spaced signposts or “milestones” at which assist the tourism destination by monitoring and measuring the journey.
The key thing to remember when developing tourism destination strategies is keep it simple. Big fat strategic documents usually live on shelves, are forgotten and gather dust!
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